The 30-year fixed mortgage rate held steady at 6.52% for the third week in a row, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey. 

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the stability to offsetting economic data releases. 

For instance, he noted that consumer credit grew by $14 billion in June, more than twice the market consensus, although retail sales were weaker in July.

In other loan categories, rates were slightly lower. The 15-year fixed and 5/1 hybrid ARM rates were down three basis points to 6.07% and 6.02%, respectively. One-year ARM rates averaged 5.18% compared with 5.22% last week.

Compared with a year ago, mortgage rates are anywhere from 10 basis points lower (30-year fixed) to 49 basis points lower (one-year ARMs). Under those rate levels, the Refinance Index was just under 2000 as the credit, housing and tighter lending standards was just in its early stages. 

In the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Aug. 8, the Refinance Index was at 1075. Despite stable mortgage rates, next week's report from the MBA should show activity remaining at its lowest in eight years. 

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